Sunday, August 2, 2015

Interview with David J. Berndt, Ph.D. (Overcoming Anxiety)

Why did you pursue writing?

I felt like I had a lot of useful information to share with others. At first this sharing was all about ideas and research that I shared with my colleagues, and I guess, since I was pretty successful at that, I grew more confidant. Later, as my clinical skills were honed, I realized I had more important things I wanted to convey than the academic stuff. I was in possession of a lot of practical and useful information and techniques that were not widely available, and I decided that writing for the public would be the best way I could leverage my clinical talents and knowledge to help the most people. It has been very rewarding to hear from the advance reviewers that they found this or that technique helpful.

What inspired your book?

My clients inspired it that is for sure. Many of the techniques I introduce in Overcoming Anxiety are available in other books and websites, but what I felt the need to share in my book were the modifications that made these skills more helpful and effective, based on the input that I was getting from my own clients. I hope that by encouraging people who are dealing with anxiety to customize and tailor these techniques to their own interests and sensibilities, they will be more likely to make good use of the tools that can work. 

How long have you been publishing your work?

As a psychologist, I began writing professionally while I was still in college, and by the time I was on the faculty at the University of Chicago (as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry), I had over 80 papers that I had presented or published. I got royalties for some, like the Multiscore Depression Inventory, but most of those early papers were for other mental health professionals and were typically published in peer reviewed psychiatry and psychology journals.  

I got to speak at fun places like Brazil and Paris, but there was not really much in the way of actual financial reward.  I only recently began writing for the average person (reader), and, as such, Overcoming Anxiety was the first book I published that was for this wider audience. 

What’s your writing environment like? 

I write everywhere: at a desk in my private practice, at home, in Starbucks ™ and I often write with two lap dogs (dachshunds) curled up at my feet.  I have editors and peers who help with the revisions, but I pretty much handle the dogs myself. 

What projects are you currently working on? 

The book Overcoming Anxiety is the first book in a series of mental health books I am writing for the Psychology Knowledge Mental Health series.  The next book, which I'm finishing up soon (it is due for release in late October) is on Special Topics in Anxiety. I have another coming out after that on managing anger, and after that one on Complex PTSD.

Author Bio

David J. Berndt, Ph.D. was an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago where he published or presented over 80 papers and articles before establishing a private practice. Dr Berndt currently lives in Charleston, S.C. where he also teaches in an adjunct capacity at the College of Charleston. He is best known for his psychological tests TheMultiscore Depression Inventory, and the Multiscore Depression Inventory for Children, both from Western Psychological Services. He also contributes to several psychology websites including

Overcoming Anxiety is available on AMAZON:

1 comment:

  1. Emily,
    Thanks for the Interview. Today is the last day of the 88% launch discount, so your readers might want to get a deal if they have a kindle